Evolving Your Customer Data Technology Strategy: 3 Tips for Marketers
The way organizations engage customers is rapidly evolving. Today’s consumers are incredibly well connected, using multiple devices numerous times a day in various locations to access vast amounts of information. This means that having a customer data technology strategy to coordinate the collection, transformation, activation and protection of customer data is imperative for marketers who want their brands to excel.
In this article, we’ll cover a few ways that you can use technology, such as a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to meet consumers’ increasing demands. We’ll also offer you actionable tips that you can apply to your own business, courtesy of Joe Stanhope, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, who presented the keynote for this year’s Digital Virtualocity event.
Consumer experiences are now transcending products
In this era of marketing, it’s essential to examine your company’s entire customer engagement lifecycle and break it down into moments so that you can be ready to engage when and where your customers choose.
Consumers nowadays have multiple devices in the home, car, and workplace, and these devices are generating new data at an unprecedented speed and volume. It’s important for marketers to respond to this evolving customer context by delivering personalized, real-time, automated marketing. Customer data technology plays a crucial role in achieving this.
Why customer data technology matters
Data and technology, when used properly, take the friction out of customer experiences and empower brands to delight their audiences and drive loyalty. However, marketing tech can’t solve all of our problems without some internal work first. Ensuring the technology that powers the customer experience is helping and not hindering these efforts is critical, especially now, as tectonic forces reshape consumer spending and CMOs reconsider their spending and strategies.
Companies need to overcome silos to maximize the potential of their customer data technology. Organizations should also address redundancies in their tech stacks to minimize complicated, resource-intensive training and vendor management issues. A CDP is an important part of overcoming these issues because it provides a unified customer database accessible to your other systems.
How to up-level your customer data technology strategy
- Activate data, don’t curate it
It’s important for marketers to have a robust set of customer data, but also to use it in the correct way. The potential to build powerful customer profiles has never been greater, and you can establish trust by learning what your customers’ interests and preferences are so you can target them thoughtfully, then evaluate your efforts.
You should be able to connect all of your data and assemble it into customer profiles, which is also known as identity resolution—a core feature of a CDP. Identity is a progressive build over time—an always-on process that enables you to push cohesive data to your various systems so you can interact with customers effectively.
- Focus on strategic technology
With dozens of categories of marketing technology available today, it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which of your systems work together—let alone to add a new one to your tech stack.
A CDP can help you make the most of all your technology because it integrates with your other systems to help you work smarter across the customer lifecycle. This strategic approach has a major impact on customer experience and return on investment.
- Accelerate artificial intelligence exploration
The sophistication and scale of customer experience has gone beyond what human brains can manage. We can only look at so much data. Artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance marketers’ skills to give us more time to focus on being strategic customer advocates.
AI helps solve complex, data rich, iterative problems. Companies would be wise to start looking at practical, bite-size applications of AI, such as using it to support audience discovery and ad buys, or to optimize email send time and content.
Invest in strategic technology
Watch the full video of The Future is Now: Reimagining Data and Technology Strategy for Marketing in Consumers’ Moments with Joe Stanhope, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, to learn more about how you can use customer data technology to accelerate your brand’s customer experience and surpass your competitors.